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Jakarta Post

A ritual of expressing gratitude at Mount Merapi

Fri, November 1, 2019   /   12:00 pm
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    Residents carry food during Merapi Kenduri in Kaliadem Village, Sleman, Central Java, on Oct. 14, 2019. The village is around 4.5 kilometers away from the top of Mount Merapi. JP/Boy T Harjanto

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    Participants sat on the volcanic ashes of Mount Merapi. JP/Boy T Harjanto

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    Participants say a prayer at the Merapi Kenduri. JP/Boy T Harjanto

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    The many components of a kenduri. JP/Boy T Harjanto

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    Residents hand out bananas to visitors. JP/Boy T Harjanto

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    After the kenduri, members of a jeep community ride across the Yellow River trail in Sleman. JP/Boy T Harjanto

Boy T Harjanto

A number of residents gathered in front of the famous Kaliadem Village bunker in Sleman, Central Java. It was scorching hot, though the wind came once in a while. Mount Merapi could be seen among the clouds.

On Oct. 14, the Kenduri Raya Sewu Jeep Merayap Merapi (Merapi Ritual with 1,000 Jeeps) procession began at Boyong Kaliurang field and ended on the bunker.

Donning traditional Javanese attire and bringing everything needed for a kenduri (a Javanese ritual of blessing or remembrance), such as rice, dishes and bananas, residents walked for 4.5 kilometers and carried them all to the kenduri spot.

After a prayer, sitting on the volcanic ashes of Mount Merapi, participants consumed the food together. The ritual is considered a symbol of being grateful after the eruption of Mount Merapi in 2010, seen as a second chance to increase the residents’ well-being. (wng)